UNION CITY -- A father who police say got high, hallucinated and tried to burn phantom images off his daughter's hands using a blow torch was arrested this week on suspicion of being under the influence and possession of methamphetamine, police said.

The suspect -- Arnel Pecson, 44 -- was behind bars Thursday night in the Santa Rita jail after a judge set his bail at $30,000, court records show. Pecson did not seriously injure his daughter, said Cmdr. Ben Horner.

Officers responded to a call Monday evening at a home in the 4700 block of Andrea Way after the man's daughter, who Horner said is in her 20s, called police and told them her father was hallucinating from using meth.

The victim told police her father was seeing figures and faces on the end of her hands so he picked up an acetylene torch, often used for welding, lit it, then tried to burn the images off her hands, Horner said.

At one point during the incident, the victim said, her father struck her several times in the chest.

The victim was not seriously injured and managed to run into the backyard of the home and call police.

Officers found the man hiding inside the home and arrested him following a short struggle, Horner said.

The man's daughter, Horner said, declined to press assault charges against her father.

"It is common for long-time methamphetamine users to begin to experience hallucinations as the drug begins to affect their brain chemistry," Horner said.


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Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/ nataliealund.